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Military assists with Matmo evacuations

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said that it had dispatched over 1,100 servicemen to evacuate over 1,600 people across Taiwan from their residences.

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) yesterday said under Typhoon Matmo's influence, heavy rain and strong winds are still expected across the island. The Defense Ministry said its emergency response center will continue to command all the military units across Taiwan to assist local governments in emergency rescue operations.

More than 55,000 servicemen have been placed on standby to provide relief and rescue assistance as needed, and 24 planes, 12 AAV-7 amphibious assault vehicles, 478 water pumps and more than 200 military vehicles are ready for deployment, the MND said.

The ministry further said that it has space at 107 military bases around Taiwan that can be used as emergency shelters in the event of flooding. The military will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide timely relief assistance as necessary, it said.

The Central Emergency Operation Center was quoted by the Central News Agency as saying that before Typhoon Matmo arrived in Taiwan, some 5,300 people who mostly live in the mountainous areas of 15 cities and counties around the island were evacuated for safety reasons.

The center said 2,600 people gathered in 99 shelters. However, the center did not say where the rest of the 2,700 people were being sheltered. The 220 residents of the Xinyi Township (信義鄉) of Nantou County (南投縣) were among the evacuees, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center.

Xinyi Township Office explained that as parts of Shengmu Village (神木村) and Tongfu Village (同富村) are located in low-lying areas, it was better to conduct preemptive evacuations for the time being.

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